Darkest Hour - Dev Diary #6 - It's Your Decision

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ewphoenix123

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Hello again, this time it's actually me. :)
We promised you a big one today, and here it is even when it is a bit late.


Chancellor Otto von Clausewitz wrote:

“Politics is the womb into which war develops”.

State policies and ideologies indeed play a central role in the process, of going to war and how to wage it.
Isn’t the Second World War often called a « war of ideologies »?

On the other hand, international relations and diplomacies never ceased to get more complex during the XIXth and XXth centuries.
We always felt that the impression to lead, not only the armed forces, but a whole nation, was missing in Hearts of Iron games.
We were therefore looking forward to making players actually feel they embodied a Head of State. This is one of the major philosophical design choices that has defined Darkest Hour development.

We believe it will provide an unprecedented experience for those who will get the chance to play our game.


Being a Head of State first starts with taking policy decisions.

In Darkest Hour, you will have the opportunity to dictate a decisive policy change every two years that will have in influence in the years to come, beginning with the ministers that you will appoint. We have also implemented an auto-reminder notification system that can be turned on/off that lets you know when such change is possible.


We all know characters that had a considerable influence for the history of their country.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was often described by British war propaganda as a bulldog ready for duty and fight. Such figure is alleged to have inspired courage to the British people.
Darkest Hour reproduces this through a unique minister’s personalities system that is entirely modifiable by users.
Most prominent State figures have already their own personality that in turn affects their country, but there is nothing stopping you from creating indivdual personalities for each minister in the world. :)







But being a Head of State is also a matter of decisive and even sometimes impulsive policy decisions.

There are two other ways to influence the course of history from a diplomatic perspective in Darkest Hour. Historical events are one of them.
We have entirely rewritten the events using our new syntax which opened up much more possibilities for ourselves and modders.
There will now be tons of new diplomatic events simulating for instance the United States foreign policy, from the decision to send destroyers to the British Navy to the passing and the enforcement of the Lend-Lease Act.

There will also be situations when you will be able to take immediate decisions when certain conditions are met.
We have indeed implemented a unique “Policy decisions” concept in Darkest Hour that allows players to take a specific decision when they think the time is right (provided that they match all requirements).
As an example, when playing the 1936 Grand campaign as Germany, a “Reoccupation of Rhineland” decision will be available with specific requirements to be activated. As soon as the player activates the decision, a newspaper notification appears, offering him a little bit of historical background.






Lastly, the course of events has been made more dynamic.

As players now actually have an influence on when and how certain events occur, they will influence the timeline. As Germany, you can obviously lead your country to war as fast as possible. But be aware that your army or your industrial base may be left unprepared for a long conflict.
Of course the artificial intelligence will always try to surprise you and take decisions when you are not ready for them. For example, playing as China, the Japanese Army will not always invade your country at the same time and the same place so you can just wait for them and push them back when they come.

We truly believe that as a Grand Strategy game, Darkest Hour needed an in-depth diplomatic model.
While we are still polishing it and adding new parts with every build, especially to provide even more user modifiability, this development diary should have given you another glimpse at the very basics of our philosophy and we hope you will appreciate it.
 
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Dutchemperor

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Decisions, HOI3 style.

I really like the last part, that you will be never invaded at the same date, i really like that.
 

Beleg32

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OMG. I love every word of it, love the immediate decisions system and everything else ! Just genius ! Also it good that invasion will happen at diffrent times as well, the game will be less predictable, and funny how the wars that you are not in, develop every time slightly diffrently.
 

Porkman

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If you wanted to do the China war right, you could use this system to simulate the gradual buildup that followed the Marco Polo Bridge incident. (Right now you get either a Japan that's uber prepared to invade the minute war is declared or you get a Japan that's so out of position in Manchuria that the Chinese can swarm through.) The system should be used so that after the initial incident occurs (which would be somewhat random) the Japanese player and Chinese player have a series of mutual decisions. Chiang getting the option to move troops around Shanghai, the Japanese pulling troops from the Manchurian border to reinforce the north, the peace talks which eventually fell through. Each decision by one country would lead to a decision by the other with domestic and foreign consequences for backing down or escalating.
 

Cardus

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If you wanted to do the China war right, you could use this system to simulate the gradual buildup that followed the Marco Polo Bridge incident. (Right now you get either a Japan that's uber prepared to invade the minute war is declared or you get a Japan that's so out of position in Manchuria that the Chinese can swarm through.) The system should be used so that after the initial incident occurs (which would be somewhat random) the Japanese player and Chinese player have a series of mutual decisions. Chiang getting the option to move troops around Shanghai, the Japanese pulling troops from the Manchurian border to reinforce the north, the peace talks which eventually fell through. Each decision by one country would lead to a decision by the other with domestic and foreign consequences for backing down or escalating.

2 comments:
1) The escalation you mentioned is very common in any war
2) Why you don't write the code?
 

tedescooo

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Nice feature...

Looking forward to play it!
 

Davisx3m

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Awesome!
 

LeeDub

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I've gotta say I'm a bit sceptical. New syntax? Won't that wreak havoc on existing mods? OTOH it's great news for new ones and the game itself, I guess.

And decisions - excellent!
 

Inner Circle

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I've gotta say I'm a bit sceptical. New syntax? Won't that wreak havoc on existing mods? [..]

There will be new and improved event commands but won´t make older mods obsolet.
They work, but i suggest to use the new features ;)
 

xtfoster

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Beleg32

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Can't get enought of them, each dev diary is making the game so much better, at the end of the dev diaries this game shall be masterpiece :D

Yea, I was probobaly too fast, you can't blame me for asking :D
 

LeeDub

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There will be new and improved event commands but won´t make older mods obsolet.
They work, but i suggest to use the new features ;)

I thought HoI2 had a good set of commands. Care to post an example of a new command, maybe your personal favourite? I'm curious how far you decided to take it. :)